Ontario Employer Advisor Blog – Quarterly Review

This is our Quarterly Review, highlighting posts on our Ontario Employer Advisor blog. Follow the links to any of these specific posts, or visit the blog at www.ontarioemployerlaw.com where you can sign up to get each new post as it is published. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

From the Desk of the HR Manager, December 2014 - Setting Performance Objectives
By Melissa Kennedy on December 24, 2014

As we set to embark upon the year’s end, now is an appropriate time to begin goal setting and implementing employee performance objectives for the new year. Establishing clear expectations which are tied to the overall mission and vision of the organization, and which are aligned with and cascaded from senior leadership, will ensure that employees understand their role and value within the organization, and will work to continually motivate them throughout the year (...)

Ontario Government Makes Major Changes to Workplace Laws
By Daniel Pugen on December 3, 2014

Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, has received royal assent and is now the law. As we have previously reported, this Bill significantly amends workplace laws, including the Employment Sandards Act, 2000, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (...)

From the Desk of the HR Manager, November 2014 - Holiday Parties
By Melissa Kennedy on November 18, 2014

With the holiday season fast approaching, many organizations are in the midst of planning their annual holiday parties, meant to recognize the culmination of a year of hard work by employees and celebrate the holiday season. Although this time of year is marked with celebration and provides for a valuable team building opportunity, it can also bring with it particular obligations and potential liabilities for an employer.

When planning and hosting a holiday party (...)

From the Desk of the HR Manager, October 2014
By Melissa Kennedy on November 4, 2014

The excitement is building in anticipation of this year’s annual McCarthy Tétrault Client Conference on Friday, November 7, 2014.

The Conference will open with a plenary discussion of Mental Health in the Workplace. As society works to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues, employers grapple with how to identify, address and manage such issues in the workplace. In this session, Paul Boniferro, myself and special guest speaker Dr. Ash Bender will bring (...)

Important Changes to Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Rules
By Naseem Malik on

The last few years has seen some major changes to the rules governing the ability of Canadian employers to bring temporary foreign workers into Canada. Recently the government introduced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program which oversees and administers the issuance of opinions(previously called LMO’s or Labour market Opinions) which form the legal basis for work permit eligibility for many temporary foreign workers.

The Labour Market Opinion has now been renamed the Labour Market Impact Assessment and is overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada. One of the more significant changes to the system is the reclassification of (...)

A Reminder to Update Your Policies for Three New Job-Protected Leaves for Families
By Matthew Demeo on October 28, 2014

We wanted to send out a reminder that as of October 29, 2014, employees in Ontario are entitled to three new job-protected leaves (in addition to any entitlement to any other leave under the Employment Standards Act). These new leaves are:

  • Family Caregiver Leave;
  • Critically Ill Child Care Leave; and
  • Crime-Related Death or Disappearance Leave.

We provided a summary of these new leaves earlier this year.

If it has not been done already, employer’s should review their existing policies, procedures and collective agreements as soon as possible to incorporate these new leaves into the workplace. If you have (...)

Ontario Divisional Court Upholds a Worst-Case Scenario Decision from the Human Rights Tribunal
By Matthew Demeo on October 22, 2014

Last year, we reported on the notable Human Rights Tribunal decision of Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board where the Tribunal ordered the reinstatement, along with over $400,000 in back pay and damages, to an employee despite the employee having been away from the workplace for almost a decade.

When this decision came out, it soon became the benchmark, worst-case scenario, for employers who were found to have failed to properly accommodate an employee. Not only was the reinstatement order rare and the monetary award uncharacteristically high, but the Hamilton-Wentworth School Board was left to sort out the impending awkwardness (...)

Comply With the AODA or Pay the Piper
By Benjamin Aberant on October 7, 2014

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is an Ontario law whose purpose is to develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities by 2021. Since January 1, 2012 Ontario employers with 20 or more employees were required to be compliant with the AODA’s Customer Service Standard. Compliance includes filing an Accessibility Report.

Likewise, since January 1, 2014, Ontario private sector employers with 50 or more employees have been required to comply with requirements under the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standard. This includes filing another Accessibility Report on or before December (...)